IPES is a grassroots organisation of subsistence farmers, registered as a Not for Profit Foundation with the government of El Salvador in 2002. Our mission is to promote permaculture for the development of a healthier, wiser and more ecologically sustainable society.
The founding of the Permaculture Institute in September 2002 was the culmination of 5 years of slow and steady work to plant permaculture in El Salvador. Introduced by Juan Rojas, a Salvadoran permaculturist trained in Australia, permaculture was taken up by members of the Christian Base Communities network (CEBES) who were working to build a movement of subsistence farmers working with ecological methods.
The year 2000 saw the arrival of Karen Inwood, a permaculturist and community development consultant from the UK to help develop a new organization dedicated to teaching permaculture in poor rural communities. Two years later, IPES was set up and joined a network of permaculture institutes around the world who provide permaculture education and solutions.
IPES started small. Relying on volunteers and small donations, we taught ecological farming to small groups of farmers in a handful of communities. Over the past years, we have expanded enormously to meet the rapidly growing demand from poor rural communities for ways of sustainable living and farming.